Jill Dees (1925 - 2011)

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Jill (Gilberte) S. Paill? Dees

January 27, 1925

March 20, 2011

Jill (Gilberte) was born in Paris, January 27, 1925 to Abel Amelot de la Housaille and Gabrielle Paternault Amelot. As a designer's couturier, Jill was much into style, which caught the eye of American soldier Robert F. Paill?. During the Nazi occupation, Jill, her sister, seven brothers, and family struggled. This Captain and pilot in the US Air Force saw her on the street and could not let her go. He persuaded her to let the Jeep of GIs give her a ride home, yet she insisted to be let out a block away as to not be caught riding home with soldiers by her strict father. For the handsome, French-speaking Captain, it was love at first sight, and he returned to her route home every day, for ten days, convincing her to take the lift home. Shortly after, Robert visited Jill's family, arriving with a sack of potatoes, cartons of cigarettes that could be traded for food, nylons, and a dozen red roses. Needless to say, her mother and father found him acceptable for their full-of-life daughter. The two were married on Armistice Day, and nine months later she started her journey to America aboard the Vulcania. She crossed the United States by train to settle with her husband and his family in Reno, Nevada, where she lived the rest of her life. Studying English, learning the Constitution, and examining history and politics led her to become an American citizen. Life took a turn when her beloved husband, elementary school principal Robert Paill?, suddenly passed away, leaving her with two girls at the young age of 32. Jill did her best to support her family and worked as a seamstress. She did everything, from designing the most beautiful formals to altering clothes. Her work was impeccable. Three years later, Jill married Robert L. Dees, the then Sultan of the Shriner's Kerak Arabians. He took her to dinner, followed by dancing, every Friday night. My, how they loved to dance!

She was a wonderful mother and was adored by all who knew her. Always elegantly dressed, never without a pair of gloves, Jill's beauty inside and out will never be forgotten. The fun-loving, life-of-the-party will be sorely missed.

She was preceded in death by Robert Paill?, Robert Dees, her sister, Suzanne (Louis) Camel, and her brothers, Andr?, Olivier, Roger, and Gilbert Amelot. She leaves her children, Muriel Dickey, Carole Paill?, Don Dees; her stepson, Robert (Susan) Dees; and her grandchildren, Jill (Brian) Moon, Danielle Dickey; Taylor and Kelsee Dees; Jonah Dees; her brother Serge (Claudie) Amelot; and many nieces and nephews in France.

In lieu of flowers, Mama Jill would like that you spend quality time with your family and enjoy a nice glass of wine, some good cheese, and a piece of French bread. Please raise a glass of champagne, her favorite, in her memory.

A celebration of life for her friends and family will be held at 1295 Majestic Drive in Reno on Saturday, April 9th, at 3:00 p.m.

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Apr. 3, 2011
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